Attorney general apparently withdraws emergency rule on transgender medical care after lawmakers act
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey appears to have withdrawn his emergency rule that would place restrictions on gender transitions.
Bailey created the rule in April. It had been set to take effect this month until a judge put it on hold.
On Tuesday the page on the Secretary of State's Office website that posts emergency rules says the rule had been "terminated effective May 16, 2023."
The rule is the subject of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of people receiving gender transition care. The rule would have created unfair barriers to getting gender transition treatment, opponents say. Bailey argued that he was imposing regulations on "experimental" treatments.
It's not clear how the withdrawal of the rule will affect the legal case.
"We were standing in the gap unless and until the General Assembly decided to take action on this issue. The General Assembly has now filled that gap with a statute. I’m proud to have shed light on the experimental nature of these procedures, and will continue to do everything in my power to make Missouri the safest state in the nation for children,” Bailey's office said in an email to ABC 17 News.
Last week the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that would ban gender transition care for minors. Gov. Mike Parson is yet to sign the bill.
A spokesperson for Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft told the Kansas City Star that Bailey's office had withdrawn the rule.
Missouri's top Democrat, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, said Bailey knew that his rule wouldn't withstand a legal challenge.
“Andrew Bailey grossly overstepped his legal authority, and everyone knows it," she said in a statement. "So, it isn’t surprising he withdrew his unconstitutional rule knowing another embarrassing court defeat was inevitable. Missourians deserve an attorney general worthy of the office, not one who persecutes innocent Missourians for political gain.”
The ACLU of Missouri also released a statement criticizing Bailey.
“After weeks of embarrassing Missouri on the national stage, the Attorney General has finally joined everyone else in recognizing that his hasty attempt to usurp other branches of government cannot withstand scrutiny," the organization wrote in a press release. "His transparently faux concern for trans youth could not mask that his willingness to abuse his office in an attempt to erase from public all transgender Missourians. Today’s actions are a victory for Missourians’ right to bodily autonomy, but the fight is not over."
Check back for updates to this developing story.